A Charter?

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Elliot

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Feb 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/18/98
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Where can I find this news groups charter?

Jon S Green

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Feb 18, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/18/98
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Elliot <EK...@bton.ac.uk> wrote:

> Where can I find this news groups charter?

http://www.usenet.org.uk/uk.games.roleplay.html#uk.games.roleplay

Although it doesn't say so explicitly, u.g.r should _not_ be used for
discussion of computer games, whether or not they're alleged to be
"role-playing games" -- at least, not unless you don't like your ISP's
postmaster very much.


Jon
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Philip Masters

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Feb 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/20/98
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In article: <3561040d....@newshost.cam.harlequin.co.uk>
jo...@harlequin.nojunk.co.uk (Jon S Green) writes:
> > Where can I find this news groups charter?
>
> http://www.usenet.org.uk/uk.games.roleplay.html#uk.games.roleplay

It's also quoted in the FAQ. Which gets posted monthly, or you can follow
the links from my 'Web page.

> Although it doesn't say so explicitly, u.g.r should _not_ be used for
> discussion of computer games, whether or not they're alleged to be
> "role-playing games" -- at least, not unless you don't like your ISP's
> postmaster very much.

Which subject is made explicit in the FAQ, incidentally.

--
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Mike Pitt

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Feb 20, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/20/98
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In article <852137...@philm.demon.co.uk>,

Philip Masters <Ph...@philm.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>Which subject is made explicit in the FAQ, incidentally.

Should it not be made specific in the charter too?

--
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Philip Masters

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Feb 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/21/98
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In article: <31g*vr...@news.chiark.greenend.org.uk> Mike Pitt
<poll...@poboxes.com> writes:
> >Which subject is made explicit in the FAQ, incidentally.
>
> Should it not be made specific in the charter too?

Probably. Possibly. For the record, the charter says:

"It [the group] will be used for all types of role-playing, including (but
not limited to) Live Action (i.e. Amber, V:TM), Play By Mail, Dice (i.e.
AD&D, Shadowrun)."

Personally, I'd say that the absence of computers was reasonably clearly
*implicit* in there - except, perhaps, for people who don't even know that
non-computer RPGs exist. Which is, unfortunately, a large group.

(I *have* to say that I didn't write the charter. I'd hate anyone to think
that I don't know the difference between "i.e." and "e.g.")

On the other hand, my impression is that the "I'm in the boudoir with the
troll, the duck, and the mobile 'phone - now which bit of my anatomy do I
have to stick in the vice to get the eggbox open?" posts are from people
who haven't read a charter or a FAQ in their lives, so it's all a bit
academic, really.

Anyway, I believe that charters are nigh-impossible to change once a group
has been created, presumably as a design feature to avoid frivolous group
manipulation.

Paul Vincent

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Feb 21, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/21/98
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Philip Masters <Ph...@philm.demon.co.uk> quoth thusly:

>For the record, the charter says:

>"It [the group] will be used for all types of role-playing, including (but
>not limited to) Live Action (i.e. Amber, V:TM), Play By Mail, Dice (i.e.
>AD&D, Shadowrun)."

>Personally, I'd say that the absence of computers was reasonably clearly
>*implicit* in there - except, perhaps, for people who don't even know that
>non-computer RPGs exist. Which is, unfortunately, a large group.

"Clearly implicit"? Really? I'd have thought that the phrase
"including (but not limited too)" left open the question of whether or
not computer "RPGs" are included in the group's scope. Personally, I
agree that this ng should be a computer-game-free zone - there are
plenty of ngs specifically aimed at computer gamers. However, in view
of the fact that many computer games describe themselves as
"role-playing games", confusion is understandable. In light of these
points, I agree that the exclusion of computer-based games should be
made EXplicit in the group's charter/FAQ. Until then the question of
whether or not to exclude such discussion must remain moot. In the
meantime I'd say it's inappropriate to flame anyone who tries to
discuss a computer "RPG". After all, the charter doesn't say they're
wrong, does it?

>On the other hand, my impression is that the "I'm in the boudoir with the
>troll, the duck, and the mobile 'phone - now which bit of my anatomy do I
>have to stick in the vice to get the eggbox open?" posts are from people
>who haven't read a charter or a FAQ in their lives, so it's all a bit
>academic, really.

Yes - those puzzle/adventure computer games don't even describe
*themselves* as RPGs, so it's anybody's guess why they think this is
an appropriate forum for their questions. Internet neophytes,
probably.

>Anyway, I believe that charters are nigh-impossible to change once a group
>has been created, presumably as a design feature to avoid frivolous group
>manipulation.

Depends whether or not you view ngs as democracies or not. If the
constituency of an ng changes, then what's wrong with revising the
charter as and when appropriate? After all, voting is how ngs get
created in the first place, yes?

Paul Vincent (pvin...@jellystone.u-net.com)
http://www.jellystone.u-net.com/
--------------------------------------------
"I want to die peacefully in my sleep,
like my father - not screaming in terror,
like his passengers..."


Limbo Folk

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Feb 22, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/22/98
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Much as I'm in sympathy with the sentiments expressed so far on this, I think
it would be hard to define what should be excluded. "Computer-based" isn't
sufficient, since a number of us (particularly given the medium) are capable of
using a PC (or whatever) for pretty much any element of the gaming process,
whether or not the game concerned is published in a PC-involving way. Trivial
point, but it would come up in relation to a formal definition.

It's my vague impression that a few puzzle-solving computer games do indeed
advertise themselves as "RPGs". There's little that could be done about that,
and the dividing line can be pretty fuzzy and arguable anyway. Personally I
haven't seen too many of those messages asking what to do if you have only one
loobrush left, (and it's the girly purple one at that, the troll-king having
demanded the big, manly, black one as tribute). Could it not be practical to
assume the necessity of an 80:20 rule and disregard those -- or politely put
them off?

Furthermore, the great EGG himself has published a book (Roleplayijng Mastery
-- remaindered everway... ummm... everywhere, for ever) describing
roleplaying games in some respects exactly as if they were this kind of
exercise: once one of your characters has killed -- or has been killed by --
a kobold, you'll have a much better idea of how that to approach that situation
should occur in future and you'll thus be much better at the game. You, my
child, will progress gloriously to the next stage of expertise and challenge.

One could try renaming the group, I suppose... but that might inconvenience
roleplayers looking for a forum...

Can't help feeling all wet-blanket-ish about this.

Cheers, anyhow,

Dave

Philip Masters

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Feb 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/23/98
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In article: <6cmvs0$ijs$1...@news.u-net.com> pvin...@jellystone.u-net.com
(Paul Vincent) writes:
> ... In light of these

> points, I agree that the exclusion of computer-based games should be
> made EXplicit in the group's charter/FAQ.

While the charter is perhaps not well phrased, James and I have always kept
the FAQ pretty darned explicit:

Q1. What is uk.games.roleplay?
A1. uk.games.roleplay is a newsgroup for the discussion and
dissemination of information about "table-top" (and possibly some
"freeform" or "live action") role-playing activity in the UK and Ireland,
or matters concerning gaming in those places.
It is not a venue for discussion of computer games, card games
(collectible or otherwise), board, miniature or wargames, or family games.
There are better groups in the uk.games.* hierarchy for these subjects.

(Before anyone accuses me of megalomania, I should say that this section
has never previously been challenged. And if anyone would care to dig out
the discussion from when the group was created, I think you'll find it's
clear that computer games were always assumed to be excluded. Personally,
I'd be more worried that the above looks more hostile to LARPs than I
feel.)

> >Anyway, I believe that charters are nigh-impossible to change once a
> >group has been created, presumably as a design feature to avoid
> >frivolous group manipulation.
>
> Depends whether or not you view ngs as democracies or not. If the
> constituency of an ng changes, then what's wrong with revising the
> charter as and when appropriate? After all, voting is how ngs get
> created in the first place, yes?

What's wrong is that Internet democracy is too low on friction. If you
could change a charter by calling an on-line vote, half the groups on
Usenet would have charter-revision votes every other week, and serious
flame wars over every vote. The "true" function of groups would change so
frequently that posts would shift on and off charter before they even
expired from servers.

Working democratic constitutions need friction, and sometimes, too much is
preferable to too little.

Sorry; philosophical rant over.

Marcus Hill

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Feb 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/23/98
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Philip Masters wrote:

[...]

> Q1. What is uk.games.roleplay?
> A1. uk.games.roleplay is a newsgroup for the discussion and
> dissemination of information about "table-top" (and possibly some
> "freeform" or "live action") role-playing activity in the UK and Ireland,
> or matters concerning gaming in those places.
> It is not a venue for discussion of computer games, card games
> (collectible or otherwise), board, miniature or wargames, or family games.
> There are better groups in the uk.games.* hierarchy for these subjects.

[...]

> Personally,
> I'd be more worried that the above looks more hostile to LARPs than I
> feel.)
>

Oh, I dunno. It does reflect the overall balance of the group - and
the LRP folk round here do tend to point most newbies talking about
LRP to rec.games.frp.live-action, since they're more likely to
get a discussion going/ question answered there.

******* LRP FAQ at http://www.upl.cs.wisc.edu/~chaos/LARP.html *******
"Come to think of it, there are already a million monkeys on a million
typewriters, and Usenet is NOTHING like Shakespeare." - Blair Houghton

Marcus.

Philip Masters

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Feb 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/23/98
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In article: <34F17C...@ma.man.ac.uk> Marcus Hill <mar...@ma.man.ac.uk>
writes:

> > Personally,
> > I'd be more worried that the above looks more hostile to LARPs than I
> > feel.)
>
> Oh, I dunno. It does reflect the overall balance of the group ...

Yeah, true enough. I said "more worried", not "very worried". (Because
frankly, I'm not very worried about this.)

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